I've been promising the people that check out my Supernatural and Miscellaneous Art threads a tutorial on a semi-new blending style that I believe quite a few other artists have already picked up on. However, I think that this is an amazing style of blending, and is a valuable method for all level of graphics makers! So allow me to teach you what I call the "Lighten Blending Method".
There are several different methods of blending people learn as they progress in graphics. Some of the most popular are the simple select and cut method, another is the Fuzzy Circle eraser method, layer masks are always good, the pen tool is popular for straight up rendering, etc., however the problem I've always found with this methods is that they leave you with a nasty edge (hard or soft) that needs to be dealt with by either putting other pictures over it or just trying to move it into a spot that it's not so noticeable. The Lighten method really simplifies this issue, and it also greatly helps achieve a softer blend of pictures instead of the harsh one people usually achieve because of the edge problem. However, this method I'm about to teach you is like anything else in the graphics world, it isn't a one-for-all method of blending. I often use other techniques or styles of blending in combination to make everything work, as you will see in my tutorial today. So enough with the talking...let's get started!
Step 1: Open a new canvas with dimensions 500x150, and make sure your background color will come out black.
Step 3: Scale the Jared-image layer down so that it's new width is 500 pixels. Then move the layer over to the right and try to center his face in the canvas as best as you can.
This should be what your result looks like after doing this step:
Step 6: With the Jensen layer still selected right click on the layer over in the Layers Panel and click "Add Layer Mask...".
This Window should pop up:
Click "Add" and this is what your Layers Panel should look like afterwards:
Step 7: Go over to your foreground/background colors and change it back to default (black foreground/white background):
Step 10: Now select the Jared-image layer and repeat steps 6-9. This was my out come:
Special Note for GIMP Users: After you finish blending, you often find that you'd like your newly blending images all together on one layer so that you can make enhancements to all of them at once. GIMP makes this so easy that you'll want to take a shotgun to Photoshop for making it much more complicated. Here's what you do: Once you have finished blending and want your images all together on a layer, simply go over to your layer panel>right click anywhere in the panel (including on a layer)>select "New from Visible", and a new layer will automatically be added, that is exactly what was visible on your canvas. This is very similar to the Merge Layers option in Photoshop, only in GIMP you get to keep the layers incase you make a mistake that you don't realize until farther down the road.
Not too shabby, yeah? You may be saying to yourself that these were just two pictures that this happened to actually work so well on. Well...you're partially right, but mostly wrong. I've found that this method works in pretty much every case that I've tried to use it in. Sure the result isn't always as straight forward as this one was, and I end up doing a bit more work with layer masks, but overall this process works a lot better than any other method I've used in the past, and the results are a lot nicer. I hope that you think so too, and I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and walked away with some piece of new knowledge!
Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, or want to share your results, please post them in here. I love results, so don't be afraid to share!